"C" emailed me about my post talking about growing your own food - is it cheaper? She wanted my ideas about the other benefits of growing your own, other than saving money. Off hand I can think of lots of benefits I get from growing my own.......
... Freshness. You just can't beat picking dinner right before it goes into the pot.
... Flavor. Homegrown is better than purchased when it comes to natural flavor.
... Variety. I grow veggies that I couldn't buy, like red roma beans, okinawan spinach, nasturtium flowers, etc.
... Satisfaction. This is a biggie for me. Sitting down to a meal that I produced myself is amazing.
... Exercise. While working to grow food can be tiring, it is great exercise for me. Love it.
... Mental health. There is something about working in a garden, large or small, that improves mental health. It's not just the feel-good exercise. It's something about connecting with life in general.
... Chemical avoidance. By growing my own I can avoid the contamination, both chemical and biological, that is so persistent in our foods nowadays.
... General health. Since commercial foods and over dependence upon simple carbohydrates are tied to the obesity problem, growing my own foods help improve my overall health. I can better control what foods are available to us.
By the way, the pictures above are a sampling of the weekly harvests from a small community garden on my farm. Every week's harvest is different. Everyone who attended that gardening session that day shares in the harvest, having the opportunity to sample fresh picked produce. In addition to the veggies pictured, the garden also produces a selection of herbs, tender greens, and onions which participants harvest at will. So I'd like to add one more benefit of home growing - socialization. Invite a few friends over for a gardening get together and enjoy a couple of hours of pleasant socialization! Catch up on the local news & gossip, empathize with one another, share tidbits of knowledge, and relax at the end of the session with a simple lunch.